Heists and High Rises
Chapter One: A Truly Fabulous Vacation
The night was young, the Manehatten skyline was tinted orange by the slowly setting sun and the Manehatten Central Museum was closing down for the evening. The roof of the building across the street was occupied by a single pony. He just stood there, looking out over the city in its glorious splendor. The colt was a little taller than the average pony, and his standard grey coat stuck out of a custom designed jet black trench coat; visible only from the neck up. His azure blue eyes and half his face masked by a black masquerade mask which rested just below his horn and black mane. With the mask no pony would be able to identify the mysterious unicorn for who he really was, the citizens of Manehatten knew him however as the dashing and accomplished thief, Black Light.
Black Light was on the roof for a single purpose, and as he stared out across the street at the museum this purpose became clear, he was there to ply his craft, and to stage his greatest heist yet. Lying next to him was a strange device, a long tube shape with a hook sticking out of one of the ends, a grapple gun. A light blue magical field enveloped the gun, picking it up and placing it just over Black Light’s shoulder. A moment of adjustment later, the gun fired, reaching out across the street to connect with the balcony of the museum, where many guests were entertained on the average day. This particular balcony was a popular lunching spot but for whatever reason it was rarely cleaned. The hook had wrapped itself around the balcony’s railing. Black Light sighed, looking down on the fairly wide expanse of the street , and leapt somehow balancing all four of his hooves on the incredibly thin grapple line. Like a trained acrobat the unicorn made good time across the rope, dismounting the line at the museum. Black Light opened the door, walking into the second floor balcony of a large room with a tall roof, looking down at the many exhibits of varying sizes that littered the museum. Black Light’s target was located across the room, a rare ancient sapphire statue.
The master thief standing on the second floor looked out for the night guard, a sly smile spreading across his face upon discovering that he was asleep in the security office down and to his right. Magically removing a small sack tied shut at the top from one of his pockets, he vaulted over the railing, the bag floating not too far behind. The unicorn, placing the bag on the ground and removing the tie, the unicorn used magic to lift and spread the dust particles in the bag up and across the room. The dust began to circulate through the air, revealing the vast and intricate magically powered laser security system of the museum. Black Light, cracking his neck, set to work. Were he not so well groomed he would have fit right in at a circus as he vaulted, jumped, and flipped his way to the other end of the room; not a single hair touched a laser. The acrobat unicorn finished in a side flip pirouette, landing next to the display case which contained the sapphire statue. A magic blue light enveloped his eyes and horn as he scanned the case, the light receded as he produced another small sack, this one full of sand. The unicorn’s magic enveloped the glass on top of the case, and slowly lifted, placing the glass on the ground he turned his attention to the statue. Grasping the sack of sand magically, the thief levitated it next to the statue. Believing he had guessed the statue’s weight appropriately, he quickly but carefully grabbed the statue replacing it with the sack of sand. A drop of sweat dripped down his forehead, and Black Light finally exhaled as he placed the statue into one of his many pockets.
Turning around Black Light produced a small black paint can and brush. After prying off the lid to the can and dipping the brush in the paint, he left a large slanted BL on the ground, finally drawing an equally large jagged circle around the letters. Having left his mark the unicorn turned his attention to the main exit, smirking he began to run, as fast as his legs could carry him towards it, setting off every alarm in the process. A few short minutes later the police arrived, finding only his mark.
Rarity was in the library having tea with Twilight as the evening came to a close. She sighed placing the newspaper she was reading onto the table in front of her, this Black Light fellow sounds terribly droll, and why would someone steal a museum piece? No one would buy it, at least not here in Equestria, oh well back to business. Looking up to Twilight Rarity began to discuss her upcoming month long visit to Manehatten, “Twilight my dear this trip is going to just be absolutely fabulous, first I have a fancy little soiree at the Amble building hosted by the businessman Fat Cat, he wants to put some of my designs in one of his high end clothing stores. The next week we are going to be participating in one of Hoity Toity’s fashion shows!” Rarity was obviously very excited, at this point in her description of the trip she was practically bouncing.
“And I will be wrapping up the trip with a string of parties in various high rises, all of which will be used to advertise my many dresses! It will be a most fabulous vacation!”
Rarity, shaking with excitement, almost missed Twilight’s next question, “Well it all sounds very nice, but you’re going to Manehatten? That place is dangerous, crime everywhere! What’s worse you’re going alone-,”
Rarity held up a hoof before Twilight could continue, “Yes, yes Manehatten is a wretched hive of scum and villainy, but I will be in the upper class district of the city, no crime happens there. What’s more I’m not traveling alone, I have asked Pinkie Pie to come along, as a model.”
Twilight cocked her head and raised an eyebrow at this, “Pinkie, really?”
Rarity continued, “I know, I know, believe me she wasn’t my first choice, I mean I absolutely adore Pinkie but she most definitely was not my prime candidate for a travel companion, I would have asked Fluttershy but no one’s seen her in a few days,”
Twilight, “I know she hasn’t been out at all! I sent Spike over yesterday and he told me that she seemed fine though, well I wouldn’t hold it against her, and she’s always been shy.”
Rarity, “Well either way Pinkie Pie will be accompanying me,”
At this Rarity’s eyes cast down for a moment as she tried to think of the best way to word her next request, “I’m going to be going to many, many different events and parties, where I am surely to meet many different and interesting ponies. I find that I am going to need another companion to travel with me, one that is good at taking notes, one that is good at writing things down, one that is wearing the most adorable apron!”
Spike entered the room wearing his favorite apron, carrying a tray of biscuits and tea. His face reddening slightly at Rarity’s comment, placing the tray on the table he grumbled as he walked back into the kitchen. Twilight was slightly dubious, “You want me to let you take Spike to the most dangerous city in Equestria, to go to fancy parties and write down names?”
Rarity, anticipating Twilight’s reaction replied, “Once again I know that the city is dangerous, but one of the benefits of attending affairs with the upper crust is the benefit of added security, the three of us would be staying in the Diagonal Hotel, which is one of the most high class, and well protected, hotels in all of Equestria, it contains a magically powered security system, an in room safe room the size of a walk in pantry, and it is regularly patrolled by the Manehatten police department! There is never a moment when an officer is not in front of this hotel!”
Twilight, unmoved, was still defiant, “I’m sorry Rarity, but it’s too much of a risk for me to take with Spike, he is still only a baby dragon!”
Rarity’s lower lip began to tremble, and doing her best to put on a pitiable face asked Twilight once more, “Please?”
“Please, please, please, please!”
Rarity’s whining and begging went on for several minutes until finally Twilight relented, “Fine, FINE, you can ask Spike if he wants to go.”
Twilight yelled out for Spike to come back into the room from the kitchen, he walked into the room still wearing his apron, “Yeah Twilight? The muffins are almost done baking; do you guys need something else?”
“No Spike, this will do just fine, Rarity has something she wants to ask of you,”
Rarity, doing her best to keep a cool demeanor explained to Spike the situation, finishing off with the question, “and I was wondering Spike if you would care to join me on this trip.”
Spike took a moment to contemplate the offer, a minute or so later he looked up at Rarity, “So you mean to tell me that I get to take a month off from writing lists and letters, to go to Manehatten and go to fancy parties with free food, and all I have to do is write down some names and take notes,”
A smile broke out on his face, grinning from ear to ear he finished, “Of course I’ll go!”
As he spoke Spike thought to himself, and I get to spend a month with Rarity! This is going to be the best vacation ever!
Rarity, ecstatic, explained what needed to be done before they departed tomorrow, “Splendid Spike! I am very happy that you will be joining us. Tomorrow we will be leaving early in the morning! So early in fact that we are not going to have time to walk over here to the library, do you mind staying the night at the boutique? Pinkie is already there and if you do you will have to pack your luggage quickly before we head over.”
Spike agreed, and went to begin packing. A few minutes later Spike said his goodbyes to Twilight, and set out with Rarity. As they were walking away from the library, Rarity spotted a very worried looking Fluttershy flying down the road at top speed. Swerving at the last minute to avoid her Fluttershy landed in a heap off to the side of the trail. Rarity, worried, ran over and helped her up. She then asked her what was wrong. Fluttershy, obviously quite flustered, managed to stammer out, “Nothing is wrong, I have to go!” As she picked herself up and flew off in the direction of the library. Spike and Rarity both shrugged and continued on their way. After all, they needed to get some sleep as they had a big day ahead of them.
The next morning the trio awoke prior to sunrise, and made their way to the train station. After riding the train for the majority of the day they stayed the night in Canterlot, the princess providing a suite for them. After spending a lovely evening enjoying the Canterlot night-life, they set out again on the train to Manehatten, the three had managed to secure first class seats. Rarity was discussing with Spike the many boroughs and districts of Manehatten, taking care to explain where they were staying and exactly how safe it was supposed to be, while Pinkie marveled at the landscape speeding away outside the train,
“Yes Spike there are many dangerous places in the city, but we are going to be avoiding them, we are going to be in Central, but the majority of the trouble that happens within the confines of the city happen in the Broncos and Bucklin districts,”
Spike was still slightly worried, “So we aren’t going to be in any of the dangerous districts then?”
Rarity’s smile was comforting, “Of course Spike, we are in absolutely no danger where we will be going, I’ve been here before you know, and I have never had any trouble”
Pinkie looked up at the roof of the car, a curious expression on her face, “That is so weird!”
Rarity, rolling her eyes slightly, looked over at Pinkie, “Darling, what is so strange?”
Pinkie, either completely oblivious to or uncaring about the somewhat sarcastic twist to Rarity’s voice replied cryptically, “It’s nothing, just that my tail is twitching and I don’t see how anything could possibly fall in here when there is nothing on the roof!”
As Pinkie finished her sentence a large thump was heard on the roof of the train car. Rarity looked up, muttering to herself, “What in the world?”
A moment later a griffon crashed through the window in front of them, spreading glass out into the center of the car, the griffon’s wings were missing many feathers, and his beak was chipped, turning around the griffon yelled out in a clear and menacing voice, “Nobody move! Name’s Broke Beak Bill and you all are being robbed! All of you give me your valuables and no pony will be harmed!”
Rarity typically didn’t wear clothing or any fancy jewelry, and her extensive catalog of dresses practically had their own car, but on this particular day, Rarity had chosen to wear the fire ruby that Spike had given to her. The thief would most definitely want it, sure enough he was making his way to the back of the car, carrying a sack which he opened whenever he saw somepony with a valuable or piece of jewelry he wanted which ponies tossed their valuables into as he walked up the aisle towards the back of the car where the three friends were sitting; no pony on the car had anything that was quite so valuable or rare. Upon eyeing Rarity, Broke Beak Bill skipped over the next three rows and went right to her, “Hello there doll, that’s a mighty shiny looking ruby, hand it over,”
Spike, placing one claw behind his back, flexed his palm exposing his sharp talons, There ain’t no way I am going to let some lame griffon thief take that ruby away from Rarity, the minute he reaches for it I’m going to give him such a scratch!
As the thief made to reach out and take the ruby, another clear and distinctive voice rang out from behind the thief, “That ain’t no way to treat a lady Bill, so I’se gonna have to asks ya to either back off or be bucked off.”
The thief turned around to eye a stallion, a big one, standing in the aisle, “Sit down now and I won’t have to rip a hole in that loud shirt a yours.”
Rarity looked over the griffon-thief to get a better look at the stallion. He had a light brown coat with clear blue eyes, and was wearing a floral print shirt that made his cutie mark barely visible, it became obvious though as he made his way up the aisle that it was a magnifying glass. Rarity quickly identified his accent as being from the Broncos district of Manehatten, A city stallion, and that ensemble he is wearing, he must be returning from a vacation somewhere. The stallion made his way to the thief, getting right into his face, his voice practically dripping with menace, “And what yous gonna do if I’se don’t?”
The griffon, unfazed, raised his talon to the neck of the stallion, “You don’t want to find out,”
As the griffon lowered his claw the stallion reared his head back, bringing it forward into the griffons face, the head-butt did its job and the griffon dropped, unconscious. The stallion removed a badge from his shirt and yelled out to the car, “Everypony remain calm, my name’s detective Five-Oh of the Manehatten Police Department, ole Bill here is a known criminal operatin’ in this area, this’d be the third train from Canterlot to Manehatten he’d have hit,”
As the detective slapped a pair of hoof cuffs onto the unconscious thief he muttered under his breath, “the boys in Manehatten are gunna be happy I was comin’ offa my vacation t’day,”
It was to be a most fabulous vacation indeed.